September 27, 2016 3:00:39 am
The Supreme Court Monday sought a response from the Central government on a PIL filed by former Union law minister Ashwani Kumar to ensure an effective legislative framework to prevent torture and custodial violence and at the same time preserve human dignity.
Appearing in person, Kumar, Congress leader and senior lawyer, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur that the court’s intervention was imperative to ensure that India meets its constitutional and international commitments with regard to prevention of torture and custodial violence.
He said the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 passed in the Lok Sabha so as to align Indian laws with the UN Convention on Torture should be reintroduced in Parliament at the earliest to enable India to fulfill its international obligations under the various international convention.
“I have failed as a parliamentarian but I don’t want to fail as a citizen of this country. Absence of a standalone, comprehensive and purposeful municipal legislation in India for the prevention of custodial violence has resulted in a disturbing void in law, endangering the constitutional right of persons affected by custodial violence and torture,” he said.
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At this, the bench issued notices to the Centre and the NHRC, seeking their responses.
In his petition, Kumar also urged the top court to seek a reply from the government on whether it was planning to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture, 1997.
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